Dr. Stanley Aronson

Dr. Stanley AronsonInstructing Moses in the preparation of altar incense, the Lord said: “Take fragrant spices: gum resin, aromatic shell, galbanum; add pure frankincense to the spices in equal proportions.” [Exod. 30: 34.] The Queen of Sheba is said to have brought to Solomon’s court a camel train laden with frankincense and other exotic spices. Nehemiah speaks of frankincense as a substance so precious that it was stored in the inner recesses of thet temple in Jerusalem.

Isaiah talks of camel caravans from Sheba bearing gold and frankincense. And later when his chosen people practiced abominations, the Lord declares: “What need have I for frankincense that comes from Sheba?” [Jer. 6: 20.] Matthew describes the three wise men from the east, the magi, who traveled to the manger in Bethlehem bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Dr. Stanley AronsonThere are no outward differences between starving and fasting; both seem contrary to elemental human nature and both, eventually, become life-threatening. The dissimilarities, then, are largely within the personal motivation of each and the degree to which the abstention is either voluntary or impelled by outward circumstance.

 

Dr. Stanley Aronson

The Catskill Mountains first appeared on European maps in the early years of the 17 century as maritime nations aggressively sought mercantile bases in the Western hemisphere. The merchants of Amsterdam, in 1602, were granted a charter for a transnational organization called the Dutch West India Company. The charter gave these entrepreneurs a monopoly over trade with the islands of the West Indies (Caribbean) but also rights to seek a northwest passage to Asia – and to exercise regional control of the slave traffic.

Dr. Stanley AronsonJoan Rivers tells her audiences that a Jewish mother doesn’t consider her child to have reached maturity until he or she receives the M.D. degree. The claim is either a gross exaggeration or, at the least, a modest stretching of the truth. Back in the 1930s, in the midst of a  world gone awry, Jewish mothers would pray that Roosevelt would be reelected, that Hitler would die of cancer and that their oldest child would be accepted to medical school.

Dr. Stanley AronsonWilliam Shakespeare, who survived to age 54, probably knew little of the cognitive deficits that sometimes accompany advanced aging. In fact, in his era, organic dementia of the elderly was not considered to be a public health problem meriting much attention.

One of his tragedies, however, provides us with a poet’s perception of the contentious interaction, in an aging monarch, between inordinate pride and encroaching senility. Shakespeare, with no known training in neuropsychiatry, wrote an immortal drama, “The Tragedy of King Lear,” performed on December 26, 1606, published in London in 1608 and revised for the First Folio in 1623.